Retired man makes toys to support family

uncle narin cover image

Image adapted from: SanookNarin Duangcharoen

There’s a Thai saying that goes: Nobody is too old to learn. It means that you still can be open to learning new things, whatever your age might be – and this Narin Duangcharoen is living proof of that saying.

This 54-year-old retiree from Thailand’s Uttaradit Province, uses unwanted pieces of wood to craft retro-looking toys such as cartwheels, cars, and trucks – all by watching Youtube videos.

He first started crafting to fulfill his childhood dream of having many toys, but his skills soon got recognised by many people after he posted his creations on Facebook. Now, his toys are the main source of income for him and his family.

Recounting his life story – from truck driver to scavenger

Uncle Narin recounted his life story from when he worked as a 10 wheel-truck driver. He was replaced by younger men, which led him to eventually retire. Knowing his savings wouldn’t last long, he then became a scavenger, going through the piles of rubbish to look for things like plastic and glass bottles to sell.

As a scavenger, Uncle Narin roamed around his village and found out that the wood factory near his house often threw pieces of wood that were useless to them. He collected all these wood and kept them at home to figure out what to do with them.

thai uncle make retro wooden cartwheels toy

Thai cartwheels
Image adapted from: Narin Duangcharoen

Fulfilling his own childhood dream

Uncle Narin then started to pick up carpentry skills from Youtube videos in order to make toys out of the wood he had collected. This began with his desire to fulfill his childhood dream – he was a poor boy and couldn’t afford fancy wooden toys at the time, which mostly were wooden items.

thai uncle sketches wooden toy

The sketches of a Thai cartwheel and thresher
Image adapted from: Narin Duangcharoen

Before crafting, Uncle Narin makes sketches of the items first. He takes around 2 days to finish each toy, paying close attention to detail.

Getting recognition online

Uncle Narin first started posting his work on Facebook in April and has been going strong ever since. It didn’t take long for people to notice his talents and soon started ordering from him.

thai uncle make retro wooden toy on tv

He even made it on Channel 7’s morning news programme
Image credit: Ch7

Uttaradit’s Community Development Department had announced that uncle Narin’s work is now part of the One Tambon One Product initiative – a government-run programme to support locally made products in Thailand. Now, uncle Narin even exports his crafts to international customers.

thai uncle make retro wooden boat toy

Uncle Narin’s toys start from ฿900
Image credit: Narin Duangcharoen

People like uncle Narin are good examples of how one should never stop learning. And more importantly, he proves that a person can be successful if one puts enough heart and passion into what they are doing.  

If you are interested in his products and want to support, visit his Facebook or call 081-0386622.

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